After hearing testimony for parts of two days, a Stone County Circuit Court jury, around 1:30 p.m. Friday, turned in a verdict of guilty in the trial of 30-year-old Victoria Ann Dycus.
She along with her boyfriend at the time, James Hagan Glenn, were each charged in December of 2016 with first-degree murder in the death of Dycus’ 4-year-old daughter, Skylar Shellstrom. She died from what Dr. Stephen Erickson of the Arkansas State Crime lab said was blunt force trauma to the abdomen. He added the child clearly suffered from “chronically battered child syndrome” — meaning a form of child abuse in which children are physically abused.
After child neglect, physical abuse is the second most frequently reported form of child abuse. It is defined as physical injury inflicted upon a child with cruel and/or malicious intent. It can be punching, beating, kicking, biting, burning, shaking or otherwise harming a child. It usually results from over-discipline or physical punishment. Sexual abuse is often a part of physical abuse.
After hearing testimony for parts of two days, a Stone County Circuit Court jury turned in a verdict of guilty in the trial of Dycus. Following the guilty verdict, the jury gave Dycus 19 years in the state penitentiary. Sentencing guidelines are based on the belief that punishment should be more severe for more serious crimes and more severe for repeat offenders. Sentencing guidelines set a “presumptive” sentence based on that. The presumptive sentence in Dycus case, according to the sentencing order signed by the presiding judge, was 300 to 480 months (between 25 and 40 years) in prison. She was sentenced to 228 months or 19 years.
The presumptive sentence is imposed most of the time. Our reporter said Friday that Dycus sat emotionless throughout most of the trial. The trial for James Hagan Glenn has been set for August in Stone County Circuit Court.
Get up-to-date local and regional news along with the latest weather every weekday morning by listening to Gary B. and Ozark Newsline on Arkansas 103.3 KWOZ, 93 KZLE, and other W.R.D. Entertainment radio stations. If you have a news tip or event to promote, email White River Now at firstname.lastname@example.org